How To Assess Football Form

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How To Assess Football Form

Home and Away

In football it mostly pays to treat a team's home form as completely separate to their away form. Some teams have league winning form at home and relegation form away. Teams that are strong at home and weak away can be great value bets at home to 'better' sides, especially if they have played and lost a couple of away games recently.

There is a discussion about the performance of away teams on the OLBG Forum that is well worth reading and contributing to.

Bare Results

A team that has won three or four games in a row can look an attractive betting proposition, especially if they are playing a team that has been struggling in their last few games. However, it is important to remember that all football results are relative. Don't just look at the results, have a look at who they played, the home and away record of the team they played and if those teams were missing any key players.

Checklist To Follow Before Placing A Football Bet

  1. Compare home form for home team against away form for away team.
  2. Rate the teams that they have they each beaten and how easily they won.
  3. Check team news and assess the possible effects of players missing or returning.
  4. Managers styles - how will this effect the match?
  5. Recent games - how recent? What effects will they have on the players?
  6. Compare recent head to head form.
  7. Style of play - what effect will each teams style of play have on the game?
  8. Goals - compare goals scored and conceded for each team.

Factors Affecting Form


Team news should have a large bearing on the confidence of football bets. A player returning from injury can be like a new signing and if a top player is set to miss a forthcoming match it can majorly affect a team's chance of winning a match.


Some managers do particularly well against certain teams because they have figured out a tactic that either stops the other team from playing their preferred style of football or exploits one of their weaknesses extremely well. It is worth seeing if the managers have previously met, either with the same teams or with different teams and if there are any trends between the winners of the games and if they were high scoring or low scoring encounters.

European Games

Always check if the game you are betting on follows or precedes a European match that one of the teams is involved in. If the team has played a midweek European match they could be tired, especially if it was in a country that is more than a couple of hours flight away.

If one of the teams has a European game a few days after the game you are betting on then it is likely that a couple of players might be rested and the team won't be at full strength.

International Breaks

International breaks can have a similar affect to European games. If the game you are betting on is following on from an international fixture list then the team with the most internationals involved is likely to have a tired team who haven't trained together for a week or so. There may also be players who picked up injuries on their international duty.

Often important players will miss several games due to international duty. For example a number of players will miss important domestic matches to represent their countries in the African Nations Cup. Missing these key players could have a huge impact on some teams.

Previous History

Although previous records between two sides can be misleading, it is still worth considering the last few meetings between the sides. Most trends from more than a few years ago are irrelevant due to a combination of player changes, manager changes, ground moves and rule changes but there are teams that consistently beat other teams so take some notice of the last few meetings between the two sides if they both have the same manager still and the majority of the players involved in those matches.

Style of Play

It is important to consider the styles of play that both sides use. Two sides that are defensive and hard to break down are likely to have a low scoring game whilst two attacking teams meeting can often create unpredictable results.


Check the amount of goals a team scores and concedes. Teams that are winning games two or three nil each week are much better betting propositions than teams that are winning one nil each week. On standard form guides they will both have a win next to their name but the style of the wins is also important.

A good strategy is often to predict the score of each match you are considering betting on after looking at the amount of goals each team scores and concedes. The bigger the wins in the correct scores, the better bets they are. Some stats guides will tell you more than just whether a team has won but also how many goals they average and how many goals both teams score both home and away. To see stats on a game find the odds page on ValueChecker and then click on the Stats tab to see the recent results and form summary.


Sometimes when teams play a derby match form can go out of the window. Is this factor overplayed though? OLBG member Danbradley has some advice for anyone betting on derbies in his blog Derby Matches - Where Is The Value?.

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Comments from the Forum

  • monkeytennis

    What set of circumstances in two teams' form often leads to the best value bets? What are the most important factors to consider?

    How To Assess Football Form

    Think this Betting School lesson needs anything else added to it? Disagree with anything written above? Let us know your thoughts and your insight could be included in the OLBG Betting School!
  • fairfranco

    Considering this on the basis of football as that is what most would be discussing:

    I personally would tend to look primarily at recent form of maybe 5 or 6 games as well as similar for home/away form. This would take into account both the result and goals scored and conceded.

    I would also take into account season form.

    I've just started to add to this looking at odds of the team when they got some results. by looking at this it can give a better understanding of the form especially in league's where I may not have a great knowledge. In the Premiership I know who is likely to be favourite and how strong in each game but in most other leagues I wouldn't know this. by comparing odds on results I can see how a team has really done and in some cases find that a team may perform well/badly against top teams or maybe don't produce the good when they are very strong favourite...etc etc.

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